A Harpist Discovering New Sounds
Ulla van Daelen was already improvising on the piano at the age of five and won her first awards at the age often, when she participated in the "Youth Makes Music" competition.
As early as age twelve, she discovered the harp to be her dream instrument, winning her first award for harp six years later. She studied in Cologne and The Hague and graduated with distinction. Numerous master classes, workshops and concert tours in the United States and Japan followed. Following engagements at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf among others, she was appointed to her present position as solo harpist of the WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne.
While working as a classical concert harpist, though still a student, Ulla van Daelen began to develop new sounds and rhythms for the harp, drawing inspiration from frequent interdisciplinary collaborations with renowned jazz musicians, such as Joachim Kuehn, Yusuf Lateef, Lalo Schifrin, and the WDR Big Band.
In December 1999, the artist created her own WDR Live Performance with guest musicians Charlie Mariano, Peter Fessler and Nippy Noya. As a studio musician she participated in CD productions with Wolfgang Niedecken, Illupu, Farfanello and Manfred Krug, among others. She has repeatedly been invited to be a guest soloist at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and for two years she accompanied the Christmas concert tour of the "Young Tenors".
Ulla van Daelen's rhythmic, poetical compositions - she has recorded 5 CDs to date - are inspired by intensive study of jazz, folk and improvisation. Following in the footsteps of her idol, the late Leonard Bernstein, her concert programs are unconventional and transboundary.
Whether as a soloist or in collaboration with a preferred artist, Ulla van Daelen presents the harp as a genuine performance instrument.